The Senate Armed Services Committee has approved language in its annual defense policy bill that would require women to register for the draft.
The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) approved by the committee behind closed doors Wednesday “amends the Military Selective Service Act to require the registration of women for Selective Service,” according to a summary released Thursday.
The United States has not instituted a draft since the Vietnam War, and Pentagon officials have repeatedly said they intend to keep the force all-volunteer.
But men ages 18 through 25 still have to register with what’s officially known as the Selective Service System or face consequences such as losing access to federal financial aid for college.
No longer content with absurd claims that the January 6 Capitol riot was as bad as the 9/11 attacks, Democratic Party-aligned pundits are now insisting that it was in fact worse.
On a recent appearance with MSNBC’s ReidOut with Joy Reid, former Bush strategist Matthew Dowd said he felt the Capitol riot was “much worse” than 9/11 and that this is the “most perilous point in time” since the beginning of the American Civil War.
“To me, though there was less loss of life on January 6, January 6 was worse than 9/11, because it’s continued to rip our country apart and get permission for people to pursue autocratic means, and so I think we’re in a much worse place than we’ve been,” Dowd said. “I think we’re in the most perilous point in time since 1861 in the advent of the Civil War.”
“I do too,” Reid said.
Not to be outdone, Lincoln Project co-founder Steve Smith cited Dowd’s hysterical claim but adding that not only was January 6 worse than 9/11, but it was actually going to kill more Americans somehow, even counting all those killed in the US wars which ensued from the 9/11 attacks.
“He couldn’t be more right,” Schmidt said at a town hall for the Lincoln Project. “The 1/6 attack for the future of the country was a profoundly more dangerous event than the 9/11 attacks. And in the end, the 1/6 attacks are likely to kill a lot more Americans than were killed in the 9/11 attacks, which will include the casualties of the wars that lasted 20 years following.”
A total of 2,996 Americans were killed in the 9/11 attacks, and a further seven thousand US troops have been killed in Iraq and Afghanistan. Exactly one person was killed in the January 6 riot, and it was a rioter shot by police inside the Capitol Building. Early reports that rioters had beaten a police officer to death with a fire extinguisher turned out to have been false.
These bizarre alternate-reality takes are awful for a whole host of reasons, including the fact that this so-called “insurrection” everyone is still shrieking about never at any point in its planning or enactment had a higher than zero percent chance of overthrowing the most powerful government in the world, and the fact that they are manufacturing consent for new authoritarian measures just like 9/11 did.
But perhaps the most annoying thing about all the melodramatic garment-rending over how close the US Capitol came to being taken over by violent extremists is that the US Capitol has been under the control of violent extremists for a very long time already.
One thing you won’t find in corporate media obituaries of Donald Rumsfeld is any estimate of how many people died in the wars he was in charge of launching.
You do see occasional references to the US troops he sent to their deaths—as in the AP‘s obit (6/30/21):
Defiant to the end, Rumsfeld expressed no regrets in his farewell ceremony, at which point the US death toll in Iraq had surpassed 2,900. The count would eventually exceed 4,400.
And in the New York Times (6/30/21):
Mr. Rumsfeld, more than four years out of office, still expressed no regrets over the decision to invade Iraq, which had cost the United States $700 billion and 4,400 American lives.
But the Afghan and Iraqi lives lost as the result of the wars Rumsfeld managed—which by the most careful estimates outnumbered the US dead by a factor of a hundred or more (PLOS Medicine, 10/15/13; Lancet, 10/12/06)—simply go unmentioned. This, of course, greatly facilitates the job of the obituary writer, who is required to present every deceased member of the Washington establishment as a complicated, ultimately lovable character, regardless of the scale of their crimes.
Or as the Washington Post (6/30/21) put it: “Mr. Rumsfeld was more complex and paradoxical than the public caricature of him as a pugnacious, inflexible villain would suggest.”
US media are fixin’ for a fight with China, Russia—or both. Commentary on the recent G7 and NATO summits, as well as President Joe Biden’s meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, was replete with examples of news outlets alternately praising the Biden administration for ramping up new cold wars with China and Russia, and criticizing it for not being even more aggressive. As it propagandized about the US supposedly fighting for democracy, this coverage betrayed a total indifference to the potential costs of these hostilities.
The US is again illegally bombing nations on the other side of the planet which it has invaded and occupied and branded this murderous aggression as “defensive”.
“At President Biden’s direction, U.S. military forces earlier this evening conducted defensive precision airstrikes against facilities used by Iran-backed militia groups in the Iraq-Syria border region,” reads a statement by Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby. “The targets were selected because these facilities are utilized by Iran-backed militias that are engaged in unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) attacks against U.S. personnel and facilities in Iraq. Specifically, the U.S. strikes targeted operational and weapons storage facilities at two locations in Syria and one location in Iraq, both of which lie close to the border between those countries.”
Even more absurd than the fact that we’re all still pretending this clearly dementia-addled president is “directing” anything is the claim that these actions were “defensive” in nature. It is not possible for occupying invaders to be acting defensively in the nations they are occupying an invading; US troops are only in Iraq by way of an illegal 2003 invasion, a bogus 2014 re-entry, and a refusal to leave at the Iraqi government’s request last year, and they are in Syria illegally and without the permission of the Syrian government. They can therefore only ever be aggressors; they cannot be acting defensively.
It’s like if you broke into your neighbor’s house to rob him, killed him when he tried to stop you, and then claimed self-defense because you consider his home your property. Only in the American exceptionalist alternate universe is this considered normal and acceptable.
The only actual defensive action that the US could legitimately take to protect troops in Iraq and Syria would be to remove US troops from Iraq and Syria.